Is Bitcoin any closer to becoming mainstream? Well, it’s garnered interest from the fourth largest bank in the U.S.
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Wells Fargo held a meeting Wednesday to discuss the digital currency, which is popular among the techie crowd and made some people millionaires. It has yet to gain traction as a viable cash alternative and is not regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The bank confirmed the meeting to FOXBusiness.com, with spokesperson Ancel Martinez saying in an email statement “Wells Fargo gathered a group of internal and external experts and interested parties to help us better understand virtual currencies and digital currency payment systems. We are seeking to learn and become better informed in this area.”
Martinez declined to comment further on the substance of the meeting.
Bitcoin was introduced in 2009 as an open-source software code, but has since grown into a $1 billion industry.
Bitcoin expert Jonathan Mohan says the meeting is a step in the right direction to having the currency become part of the banking system.
“The industry is growing,” Mohan says. “It’s something that can’t be ignored. This conversation one year ago showed the market was too small, but this year it has the potential to hit triple digits.”
He says the greatest impedance to Bitcoin showing up in everyone’s wallets is that it’s not federally-regulated. State and federal regulators have launched investigations into the virtual currency.
“Bitcoin is hard to use today because federal regulators have yet to come out and state what a Bitcoin actually is,” he says. “More banks will eventually have to learn about it though; it has seen 9,000% growth over the past five years. That level of growth will continue, so how much longer can they ignore it?”